En-Primeurs 2014 Bordeaux Tasting(Part 5: Why you should by EP2014 with Dunn Dunn Wine Limited)


Some 4 reviews were done by our 2 Tasting Teams(Team Quatjing K and Fatloong B)and it’s high time the main characteristics of this vintage and investment strategies define for your our valuable customers.

Allow us to give you the following synthesis: first, is 2014 a good vintage?; second, why you should buy this vintage?; third, why should you buy from Dunn Dunn Wine Limited; finally, the impact of the acquiescence of Parker in EP ratings starting 2014 and recommended strategies.

1) Is 2014 a good vintage?

Opinions on certain vintages tend to be a bit subjective. We make fun of people from Bordeaux who pretend to make the vintage of the century every year which is, of course, an exaggeration. But as a veteran merchant we thought that all Bordeaux vintages have never been classifiable as bad at all: they can only be good. The reasons are always as follows. Some vintages may have been a little bit weak, or seen as low-quality, but have often found its place with the years and this is one of the strengths of this tremendous wine region. To be able to offer wines to keep and wines to drink in spite of, or thanks to, its oceanic climate, and changeable weather conditions from one year to the next. So wine lovers can debate the different advantages of one vintage or another and compare them with great years of the past. For example: 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002, 2004, and 2007. They are all drinking fine by now.

Again, who can say that 2007, which was criticized at the start, is a weak vintage, as every bottle opened is delicious to drink now. And discrete vintages like 2004 and 2008 seen as « rather profitable » are so well appreciated by distributors and consumers that today they are unobtainable. One of the assets of 2014 is to arrive just after a tricky 2013 vintage. In the end, Bordeaux offers a different style every year, far from the monolithic and monotonous products of other regions which are appreciated by consumers all over the world with different expectations.

The reality is the technical progress and expertise in winemaking has amplified this phenomenon. There are now different types of good vintages in Bordeaux, depending on who is expressing their opinion. For an estate, the good vintages are ones with effective and prolific return, with a good growing season, well rated by the critics and sold expensively. This is why 2005, 2009 and 2010 will always be seen as some of the greatest vintages for ageing, and will come to their maturity in several years’ time, for those who are patient enough to conserve these precious bottles.

The quality of a vintage is indeed measurable by the curiosity of all the visitors who come to taste the wines « en primeur ». Encouraging signs are all the questions and interest from both French and foreign customers since last October and the fact that there were more visitors in 2014 than in the three previous years, with a notable rise in the number of overseas clients (USA and Asia). So we predict that the 2014 sales, charged by by low Euro exchange rate and high U.S. currency, will be strong. So as consumer we have to be alert on some on the best items.

We can also judge the quality of a vintage by the quantity that has been produced (up to standards for 2014, compared to the weak harvest of 2012 and 2013) and a consistent quality level for all vineyards (reds, whites and sweet wines) which is the case for 2014.

Let us return in detail to the character of this vintage and the chain of events that is typical of the Bordeaux magic when everything turns out well. From this point of view, no vintage in living memory is comparable to 2014.

Recently, Olivier Bernard, head of the UGC, described Bordeaux 2014 as “the vintage of the great Indian summer. From the 27th of August, 60 days of beautiful weather turned the situation around and week after week our vines matured perfectly. Rich fruit with a good level of acidity, due to the cool summer, assured success for 2014”.

My old friend Bill Blatch described the Bordeaux 2014 vintage growing season as starting with ‘an extremely auspicious beginning, a very difficult and worrying middle and a glorious happy end, and some excellent wines’.

One of the hottest Septembers in the Bordeaux area was considered, at the time, as having potentially saved the vintage. Weather conditions had been varied up to that point.

The beginning of 2014 went well for the vintage; a very wet and warm winter meant the vines made a two week early start and buds burst mid-March, with very little frost damage, said the Blatch report.

The warm April, followed by a cool, damp May meant that when the first half of June was very hot, the crop flowered fast and efficiently, maintaining the two week advance. Unfortunately, this was followed by a cool, damp July, with small, frequent showers and then a grey and cold August, delaying the ripening of the grapes and the loss of the initial two week advantage.

Luckily for growers, from the end of August until the end of October, it was very hot and dry, with occasional isolated thunder. Blatch said it was just the autumn that was ‘needed to save the vintage’. It was the third hottest September in Bordeaux after 1921 and 1961, and October had an all-time record of 194 hours of sun.

Several winemakers reported that those allowed the grapes to ripen well and without significant rot in the vineyards, which in turn raised expectations for the vintage overall.

Ludovic David, manager of the Château Marquis de Terme, agrees and speaks of

“ The flavours preserved by the cool August temperatures, the silky tannin due to the slow ripening of the grapes in September and October, the perfect alcohol/acidity balance are the defining elements of this vintage and give its strength”.